Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Malaysia: Kindergarten- 3rd Orientation Day. (the "tidak apa" last minute attitude, as usual!).

I think that Orientation Days are a "god-sent!".

No doubt that we as educators have to go back to work during school hols, but we reap the fruits out of it.(don't we?)

Today is the 3rd Orientation Day scheduled for the new enrolments. There were quite a few new enrolments, with a number being siblings of previous students. A difference can be seen in the children who had gone through the first two days orientation, being that they were more settled down, and knew their way around.

The ones who just came in, (you could tell it was their first day!) were clinging on to their parents and were crying.

It is known in the Malaysian circles of the practice where the peoples tend to wait until the last minute before deciding to attend to a serious matter, especially when a deadline is concerned, or if it is enforced. This is shown in the recent media, where the people made a mad rush to apply for Identification Cards by the throngs and hundreds. causing much problem with the Registration Department, especially with the already limited staff available to handle. Malaysians have to be pushed to do something, which is a trait I disdane and dislike among my own country folk.

Now, if you were asking why they only came today, you have to relate this to the typical Malaysian practice of procrastinating to the last minute , which is so apparent recently what with the case of the late application for the MyKad (Malaysian chip embedded identification card) which resulted in long queues few kilometres long. People came as early as 4am because they wanted to avoid the RM20 fine. It was reported some were furious that they could not get a number and even threatened the staff at the National Registration Department (NRD).

Tell me, whose fault was it? The Department's or was it the people's lackadaisal and complacent attitude of waiting till the last minute?
Anyway, the same goes for checking out kindergartens.
But the question goes, the children ARE your investment.
Why would you as the parent wait till the last minute before actually deciding to research and investigate which kindergarten has the best education syllabus which would meet the needs of what you want and for the child?

From just observing the surface from the data that is given, you can tell who among are the parents are most concerned about their children's learning. If that is how they are at kindergarten, what makes you think it would be any different at primary or at high school level?

Lack of time is a silly excuse. It's a trait called laziness. Your children are the best investment you can put your money into. If that is the time you put into researching for your kids, thats also the same kind of fruits you will reap from it.

Of course, I dont mean all parents have the same kind of lackadaisal attitude towards such serious matter. Fortunately there were many parents who were not. I am just fuming, as the school had especially allocated two earlier days for the children, and yet some did not bother to advantage of it, or only waited until the day prior, or today itself before deciding to check the school out, (as shown by the number of parents who did come in today to see).

Obviously, you can't tell off parents who are coming in to see the school. (they are the source of income, you know??). They don't realise the problems they pose to the staff, who may be too busy handling their own classes and are unable to provide them the attention, due to their last minute walk-in. Now, can you blame the teachers, who have been standing in duty during the one month before school started just waiting for parents who have come to enquire about the school?

If I had a choice, and if I were running it, I would bring them around the school, but I will say that they have to be put in the WAIT LIST and make them wait, because my school IS GOING to have some standards. PRESTIGE if you may call it, as the Snobs would say.

Just as I was put on a wait list for this private elementary school I attended in Ampang, (I was put on a wait list since my father applied me in for about 5 years!!!), my dad just moved me in immediately when the school called him one day to announce that there was one empty place for me when I was in Primary 6 (5 long years!!!). Not to mention, application fee for me was about RM100 then.

Education is not cheap, you know??

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